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Bow Street is in the heart of London running on the eastern edge of the Covent Garden area. Although it's not a long road it has much to recommend it. It has the Royal Opera House, which is a great building, but sadly it was closed and pretty much boarded up (undergoing some fairly major works). It was the birth place of the Bow Street Runners, London's first professional police force, and was the site of the Bow Street Magistrate's Court (Oscar Wilde, Dr Crippen and the Krays all appeared).
I arrived in Bow Street pretty early in the morning and enjoyed watching the street wake up and fill with local people opening up their businesses and tourists out for an early coffee. The sun was warm and the smells were of fresh coffee and clean streets. . . London at it's best?
My first picture is of a newly scrubbed pavement outside a great coffee shop, the second is the colourful rear of a Pashley bicycle and the final image is a window reflection of the red flags of the Royal Opera House.
After spending too long sitting in Bow Street having breakfast I moved on to my next location, Soho Square. From the top of Bow Street I walked along Long Acre and then cut up Neal Street and then along Earlham Street though Seven Dials (one of my favourite locations in London), down Shaftesbury Avenue and then north up Frith Street, past Ronnie Scott's and continued all the way to Soho Square, the location of my second community chest of this project.
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Marylebone is one of the smallest of the London train stations and is the prettiest I have visited so far. It lies to the north of the Marylebone Road and a little west of Regents Park. It is both an overground and an underground (on the Bakerloo line) station and dates from 1899 (once a London terminus for trains heading to Sheffield and Manchester).
I started my visit with a walk around the outside of the station walking up Harewood Avenue, along Rossmore Road and then back down Boston Place (many pretty properties down here), then back to the main entrance on Melcombe Place.
The front of the station has an attractive glass and ironwork canopy (where the taxis drop off). But my images came from inside the station.
The staff at the station all seemed very friendly and helpful and obviously take great pride in their station. The first image includes some greenery which is trying hard not to look out of place at the end of the platform. The second image is of a lady trailing her wheeled cases as she makes for her train. The third is of a man (looking way too cool) checking his phone for messages. I hope you like the images as much as I liked this station. I will be back some time I am sure.
My next location is Bow Street, so after a bite to eat I am on my way.
Rather than retracing my steps from Northumberland Avenue, I walk east along Marylebone Road past Madame Tussaud's and keep going until I get to Great Portland Street. I then head south down Bolsover Street past the University of Westminster students union (which was the Polytechnic of Central London when I was there many years ago). I then cut over down to Piccadilly Circus. Then it's a short hop over to Covent Garden and onto Bow Street.
As Rio2016 gets into full swing we can sit back and enjoy TeamGB adding medals far away in Brazil. It seems hard to believe that London2012 was a whole four years ago. In those years we were probably too quick to forget our interest in cycling, swimming and athletics. However, the elite athletes have been getting on with their work to make us proud again. Even at this early stage it looks like we will not be disappointed and our interest to the cycling omnium and the parallel bars can return with pride.
While waiting for the medals to add up I had a quick look back at my images from London2012 and I thought I would post a few to bring back the memories. We were lucky enough to attend a practice for the opening ceremony. It was amazing, and even made sense when we watched it on TV later, with a commentary! These 3 pictures were all composites taken using the Photosynth app (no longer available) on my iPhone.
Enjoy the images, enjoy Rio2016, the memories of London2012 and of course enjoy the summer!
Turning the corner from Whitehall into Northumberland Avenue takes you from the bright bustle into a darker area. The trees down each side of the road make it seem darker and more intimate that the grandeur of Whitehall. At the top corner were a few guys busking complete with full drum kit, guitars and amplifiers. They drew quite a crowd, but I carried on down towards the river. The avenue is a mixture of hotels, offices and a theatre. It also includes the Korean Cultural Centre which gave me my first image, the London bus reflected in a large image in the window of the centre. The centre runs a K-pop education programme, which reminded me of watching kids dancing to K-pop (and J-pop) in the parks in Lima, Peru, last year (view a youtube video). Further down the avenue I liked the look of the bicycle. I like photographing bicycle parts (I know, it's sad!) so I took one of the spokes in the rear wheel. Having passed the Playhouse Theatre, (currently showing 1984), I wandered back up the other side of the avenue and found my third image of the leaf in a puddle. I like a good reflection and although the reflection of the branches and sky above are very blown out, I really liked the feel of this one.
My next location, Marylebone Station, is about 3 miles north (and a bit west) of Northumberland Avenue, so I had some lunch at the Crypt at St Martins in-the-Field (a great place for a break) before wandering up through Leicester Square and then over to Regent Street and up to Oxford Circus before cutting through to Baker Street and then north to Marylebone Road and finally up Great Central Street to the station. I think I will take the tube back at the end of the day!
Photographing London, Surrey and beyond. From the top of the Shard to the end of the garden. . .